Schools out for the Coronavirus!
Parents’ anxiety and stress are entirely skyrocketing during these hectic times. There’s nothing we want more than to take it easy and enjoy this extra quality time with the kiddos.
Sadly, speech and language practice is too crucial to get several months off. Luckily, speech practice can get done anywhere!
Join Twin Cities Kids Club for access to discounts throughout the area. Here are some fun and encouraging tips for utilizing speech therapy at home.
How To Make At Home Speech Therapy Work For You
Speech therapy at home would be great if you could get your kid to sit down with you and work on it! Children with speech and language problems typically don’t want to sit down and work on it because it’s so difficult for them.
Here’s a list of ideas that will get your child to sit and work with you comfortably:
- Create a schedule
- Set a specific time dedicated to speech
- Make it a routine. Include speech therapy into the homework sessions that need to get done before playtime.
- Start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration over time.
- Pick a location where you can move around and have fun.
- Always be consistent.
- Never give up when your child doesn’t want to work on it. Even if you only do a lesson for one minute, keep the scheduled routine.
- Let your kiddo know why you’re doing these sessions.
2. Set up each at-home speech therapy session beforehand
- Choose one specific skill you want to work on.
- Find a fun activity lesson.
- Have everything you’ll need together and ready to go.
- Give your child a few minutes’ warning.
- Have an intriguing reward for the end!
3. Starting the at-home speech therapy session
- Tell your kiddo what you’ll be doing and why.
- Make sure your child knows what they’re working towards.
- Set a SHORT timer.
4. Make the session fun to make sure they want to do it again.
- Play a game while you’re working.
- Hide their work around the house like a scavenger hunt.
- Try holding yoga poses while you work.
- Give them LOTS of praise!
- Finish the session with something they’re successful in doing.
- Keep track of your child’s progress and show them how they’ve improved.
Tools for Smoother Sessions
If your toddler does not cooperate with you, turn it into a game. Bring out objects that start with the letter sound you’re practicing. If you’re working on the ‘b’ sound, use bubbles, balls, balloons, or books.
If you’re trying to get them to talk, put everything too far for their reach and act very confused whenever they point at something they want. If you want your kiddo to start talking, put their favorite candy in a clear jar right where they can see it but can’t quite reach it. That should get them talking in no time!
You could be working with a kid who’s wondering why their brother or sister doesn’t have to do this extra work too. Get family or friends to join in on the session. This action can help make the lesson more exciting while also working on their social development. Get two birds with one stone!
5-Minute At Home Speech Activities
The key to getting your child to sit and work with you successfully is making sure each session is short and effective. A shorter session will be much more useful than a longer one, where you’re constantly battling for your child’s full attention and effort.
By keeping your sessions at five minutes, you’re allowing enough time to focus on one skill. Always start your sessions with a simple skill. You don’t want to frustrate your child right off the bat before the real work begins. For example, start with just the sound a specific letter makes. Then slowly move up to syllables, words, and eventually sentences and conversation.
The object for each five-minute session is to get your child to practice the skill as many times as possible. You want them to practice each skill over and over again until it finally sticks.
Some fun and simple five-minute activities include:
- Each time your kiddo practices a skill, let them add a block to create a tower. If the tower falls, start all over again.
- Put marbles into a container. Every time your child completes a direction, let them move a marble into another separate container. When all the marbles have been transferred to the new box, the lesson is done!
- Give your child a small piece of playdough. After each repetition, they get another small piece. Once their hands are full of all the playdough, their session is complete, and they can play with it.
- Put your hands on your child’s toes. With each repetition, move your hands closer and closer to their belly. Once you reach their belly tickle them until they cry! Then start over.
- Blow some bubbles for every other repetition that your child does.
- Bounce a ball back and forth while your child practices each skill.
- Find your child’s favorite activity and practice some skills while playing.
The most crucial tip for speech therapy at home is to have some patience. The most you can scavenge up! Remind yourself that this work isn’t easy for your child. They are working towards something challenging for them; it’ll be easy for them to get frustrated. You have to be the calm and relaxed one.
Don’t raise your voice, and don’t let them see that you’re frustrated too. Make it clear to your child that you are here to help when it gets hard. Remember, they need you. Getting frustrated and angry with your child will only make the session harder.
When things are getting too heated, stop! The worst thing you can do is push a frustrated child and a frustrated you, to keep going when it’s not working that day. Chances are they won’t be willing to sit down and try again another day if their last experience was awful.
Take a breather with your child. Color together, do yoga, or find an activity that is calming for everyone.
Hopefully, these tips have eased some of your stress. If you’re looking for more tips and encouragement for speech therapy you can do at home, don’t hesitate to check out the Twin Cities Kids Club for extra help!